Nobody has had as crazy of an MLB offseason at the New York Mets.
New York won 101 games in 2022. That’s the second-most in franchise history and the most since the 1986 team that won the World Series.
But it was largely all for naught.
The Atlanta Braves caught and passed the Mets to the win the NL East before New York was eliminated by the San Diego Padres in the NL Wild Card round.
That didn’t sit well with exorbitantly rich owner Steve Cohen. Cohen then went out and did what exorbitantly rich owners should do. He spent his money to try and improve his team.
New York added reigning AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander to the fold in free agency. They also added Japanese sensation Kodai Senga and former All-Star Jose Quintana to the mix.
But it was the free agent signing they did not make that made the most headlines after a deal for superstar shortstop Carlos Correa fell through.
Let’s circle back to Cohen real quick. As it turns out, other owners don’t really like that Cohen is trying to win. Cohen, thankfully, does not care.
What he might care about, however, is the lawsuit his organization now faces stemming from a personnel move made before he even purchased the team.
Former Mets Pitching Coach Sues Team Over Age Discrimination
Cohen completed his purchase of the ball in November of 2020.
But all the way back in 2019, Phil Regan served as the team’s interim pitching coach after the firing of Dave Eiland. Regan improved the team’s ERA from 4.67 to 4.24 in just half a season.
But he was not retained following the season. Now Regan, who was 82 at the time, alleges he was let go due to age discrimination.
“Phil came into an underperforming pitching staff and immediately righted the ship,” his lawyer, Matthew J. Blit, said in a statement Tuesday. “He helped lower the team ERA and brought the staff back to where it was supposed to be. Instead of rewarding him for his masterful performance he was tossed aside because of his age.”
“BVW specifically informed Mr. Regan that he wasn’t being retained because of his age,” the suit said, referring to Van Wagenen by his initials. – via The Associated Press
Regan’s suit claims then-Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen informed Regan that his age was the reason he was not retained.
The team then hired 33-year-old Jeremy Hefner for the position. He remains in that position entering the 2023 season.
Regan, meanwhile, served as a senior adviser to the organization last season. But the suit alleges he has faced “further decreases in salary, further denials of opportunities which he deserved, and even a reduction in housing allowance” since being let go as the pitching coach.